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tv   Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien  FOX  November 12, 2017 11:30pm-12:00am EST

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>> right now on "matter of fact." the meda, the highest award given to a military hero in america. >> you don't surrender nobody to no one. >> that is your motto? >> that is it my motto. do what you have to do. >> what happens when a hero isover looked? >> i can see that personal biased, and as a result the right thing sometimes is not done. >> how does a nation make it right? plus, a marine who lost both legs in combat is about to finish a month of marathons. >> when you wake up after your injury, you are still alive, you have to get back on your feet. >> how our veterans are responding to his one-man mission of hope. >> and 2.5 million women veterans honored for service and a singular surprise. >> the only woman to ever receive the
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mary edwards walker. >> find out what this civil war veteran did to earn the honor. soledad: i am soledad o'brien. welcome to "matter of fact." it is veterans day weekend and a chan to focus on in of the bravest among us. the medal of honor is the highest award that can be given to a military hero in this country. it is bestowed by the president on behalf of congress following an extraordinary act of bravery. it is and honor reserved for those who risk their own lives above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy. more than just another accolade, it advances careers, provides a lifetime stipend and allows the children of honor's a smooth path into the military academies. for those honored, it makes a world of difference. today the stories of two heroes. colonel harvey barnum,
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career scirottoed after he received his medal, and staff sergeant melvin morris, a hero whose honor was delayed for decades. >> as seymour middle school in novel, tennessee, they are greeted like heroes come home from the wore. 50 years and 10,000 miles from vietnam, two of america's bravest soldiers are making one of their many stops to speak about the value of education, service and patriotism. these two war heroes have lived vastly different lives. both are veterans of the war in vietnam. harvey, barney barnum received the medal of honor in 1967 at age 26, and it transformed his life. >> it would be naive to believe it didn't. you're in the spotlight 24/7. after i got deck tated, it wasn't captain barnum, it was captain barnum, the guy with the
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barnum. you are on a pedestal and you are in view. >> the represent of vietnam, december 18th, 1965. in the midst of the enemy's heavy onslaught, lute barnum reorganized his troops and led a counterattack. he directed rescue helicopters to evacuate the dead and wounded. >> i told everybody we are going to go out a squad at a time. when i say go, you run as fast as you can towards the village. and don't stop. the only time you stop, a marine falls down, you stop and pick them up because you don't leave anybody on the battlefield. we made it out, and i was the last one out. the great his thing i ever heard is the begunny said all accounted for. >> what went through your mind when you heard that? how many people did you get out? >> well, i saved about 130. that is more reward
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>> the president of the united states, in the name of the congress, takes pleasure in presenting the medal of honor, to first lieutenant, now captain, harvey c. barnum, jr. >> to sabanning the lives of many on that december day in 1965, barnum received the medal of honor in february of 1967. in his case, it took just 14 months. when you look back at your career and all the tremendous opportunities you have had, how do you feel about it? >> i feel blessed. i really do. >> why do you think some people did not get their medal, he we look back now and say they clearly deserved it. >> i can see that bias, personal bias. you know, when we are dealing with individuals who make decisions, we are dealing with imperfection. as a result, the right thing sometimes is not done. >> do you think it matters to set history straight? >> without our history, what are
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i mean we are what those that have gone before us have done. as i say, if you don't recognize the heroes who have kept freedom free, then shame on you. >> next on "matter of fact," sergeant melvin morris. a story of recognition denied. >> the actions that morris took , there was little doubt in my mind that they needed to be recognized. >> and later, he set a record biking coast to coast. >> i rode my bicycle 5,200 miles across america. >> now he is running a
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>> welcome back to "matter of fact." more than 5,500 veterans have received t medal of honor. each has a remarkable story of
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bravery. every recipient is bestowed with a lifetime of benefits. yet for in it has been a case of honored delayed. there are some heroes who were denied the medal for deck eights because of their race or ethnicity or religion. consider the story of staff sergeant melvin morris, who enlisted in the army at age 17 and served two tours in vietnam as a green beret. >> what year were you given this? >> that was in october of 1961 when president kennedy authorized the green beret, we had a ceremony, and we already had these tucked away. once he authorized it, we got rid of the hard hat and put on our green berets, and the battle was on. >> south vietnam, september 17th, 1969. staff sergeant morris was leading one of three groups of south
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little known hamlet. they were supposed to inspect and then clear the area. >> we moved on in out of the village into the tree line. by the time we got into the tree line, the whole world opened up. >> hundreds of people firing thousands of rounds. >> capital tommy daniel and team sergeant randle hagan were ambushed by vietcong who had been hiding in bunkers. >> i got a call telling me that the team sergeant was dead. i asked morris, do you know where hagan is? he said yes, i do. i will lead us in there. >> morris took two volunteers and crossed enemy lines to get sergeant hagan's bodden dwri. -- by idea. >> pushed buy or sell a barrage of enemy fire. he was shot. >> i had to get to the body. so i said i was going in.
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a heroic war story, it was a moment of valor defined. morris single-handedly destroyed the enemy force that had his battalion pinned down. in the fog of gun fire, he had been shot two more times. he didn't stop. >> you take every effort you can to recover his body. you don't surrender a body to no one. you are doing what you've got to do. that's it. >> is that your motto? >> that is my motto. do what you've got to do. >> what he did was make sure the body of sergeant first class ronald hagan got home to his wife and four children in milwaukee. morris' wounds were painful. his fingers had toby re-attach --ad
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the brothers who fought with morris that day returned to fighting. they feared they might not survive the war, so they hurdwried to get recognition foe morris' heroism. >> the actions that morris took were truly remarkable. there was little doubt in my mind that they needed to be recognized with a very serious valor award. >> recommendations for valor awards come from commanders in the field. the medal of honor requires eyewitness accounts, and approval goes all the way up to the president. >> so why not the medal of honor? >> i wish i could answer that. when i first come in in 1959, the army was being integrated, but it was still integrated but segregated. i felt that sometimes they looked down on you, thaw are not as good a soldier as they are. >> do you think that kind of stuff played a
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overlooked for the highest possible honor? >> yes. you have people that still think that way. >> did that bias deny staff sergeant morris a medal that could have transformed his life? >> if i was awarded the medal of honor back in 1969, it would have made a big difference. >> staff sergeant morris served in vietnam, the first war where troop units were fully integrated. if he had been awarded the medal of honor when he was first recognized for valor, it could have changed his life. his two sons who pursued military careers would have been admitted to the u.s. military academy. he would have received monthly stipends and extra retirement money that could have helped him fund his daughter's education. and his career would have been fast tracked because of the prestige of the medal. morris is one of 89 african-americans who has received the medal of honor. >> when we come ck
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historical wrong corrected. >> when i called melvin morris, his first reaction was oh, my god, what have i done? [laughter] >> i want to apologize to you for not receiving the medal of honor 44 years ago. >> find out how this moment changed many likes. >> and later, mary edwards walker served in the civil we are the tv doctors of america, and we may not know much about medicine, but we know a lot about drama. from scandalous romance, to ridiculous plot twists. (gasping) son? dad! we also know you can avoid drama by getting an annual check-up. so we're partnering with cigna to remind you to go see a real doctor. go, know, and take control of your health.
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>> thank you for joining us today for "matter of fact." the story of staff sergeant melvin morris raises a question. were there other heroes who were overlooked regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity? imagine the emotion of staff sergeant morris, 44 years removed from vietnam when he gets
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obama, saying he had something that belonged to him. it was timing to right that wrong and bestow an honor too long delayed. >> at the vietnam war memorial, the silence is almost deafening. >> can you imagine this many men died in vietnam? that is mind boggling. >> why is this the first time you are visiting? i was very surprised to hear that. >> i never wanted to face up to it. this brings it home to you, to see that many people that gave it all for a sacrifice. >> more than 58,000 names of american lives lost and families heart prone are engraved on -- heartbroken are engraved on this wall. >> the medal of honor went to
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246 of these soldiers, well more than half died in their act of valor. 44 years after melvin morris' courageous act, the white house would finally give him his due. atoning for a pattern of racial bias. by then, morris was 72. >> what was it like the day that president obama said you were going to get the medal of honor? >> proudest moment of my life, because i didn't have a clue that this was going to happen. >> when i called melvin morris, his first reaction was oh, my god, what have i done? [laughter] when i told him it was all good, the medal of honor, i could hear it through the phone. he almost passed out. >> he said i want to apologize to you for not receiving the medal of honor 44 years ago. >> no nation is perfect.
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but here in america we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal. >> in 2014, president obama corrected prejudice that had spanned three wars. he awarded 24 army veterans the medal of honor. just three had lived to see the day. melvin morris' family watched as he finally got what was due him. he had dragged sergeant hagan's body to safe territory in september of the 1969. it was now march, 2014, 44 years after his heroism in vietnam. [applause] >> finally that day came, and it was a great honor. you know, it took a long while for it to sink in.
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i don't think it has fully sunk in yet. >> please give them a big round of applause. [applause] >> staff sergeant morris was never bitter. since his honor, he speaks to audiences, telling his story and demonstrating that bravery has many faces. he and colonel barnum often appear together. regardless of whether they are recognized with medals or other accolades, the bravery of all of our soldiers is worthy of recognition, and we honor those who fought and who are fighting today with our respect and our thanks. >> coming up next, marathon man. meet a marine who decided losing his legs would never and reason to give up on life. >> you are still alive, and so you have to move on from that, and you have to get back on your feet. >> and later, remember the women who have served our
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>> a day for which people have long-awaited. this is d-day. >> a wounded ma lean is closing in on the end of a mary anthony of marathons literally. rob jones, a marine who lost boast legs in an ifrpblt e.d. sexrotion in afghanistan in 2010 is about to finish running a month of marathon in 31 different situations. his mission to remind us of hope, perseverance and endurance. diane roberts has other report. >> hope a should not have come easily to rob jones. but the marine corps veteran found courage following surgery to amputate both of his leagues above the knee. his hope. >> survive. i came up with it in the first week after the injury. >> jones persevered over a year of recovery and therapy
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testing several prosthetic legs and in the process became the first double above the leg amputee to bike from maine to california, raising $126,000 for three non-profits that help wounded veterans, and him. >> when you wake up and your injury or after whatever tragedy and you are still alive, and so you've got to move on from that, and you have to get back on your feet. >> his prosthetic legs are a mix of carbon and tie tate yum, designed specifically for running. but his stamina is his own. start negligence london, criss-crossing america, 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days. running to raise awareness and now bushing to raise $1 million for those same veterans charities. his energy on full throttle. >> i get it from the veterans who have come before me and after me. i am dng
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that is all the energy i need. >> veterans like louisville businessman neil quinlen, proud to keep stride with jones. >> see rob and what he is do in bringing the spotlight on to some of the wounded warriors, and when you see that, you just have it support. >> rob's support team includes his wife, a dietician, his mom, a massage therapist, and a friend who drives the r.v., so rob can rest and retool between races. a testament to endurance, his sites set on completing his mission. >> the last stop on his month of marathons, washington, d.c.. mission accomplished for this marine vet, now considering his next challenge. in washington, for "matter of fact," i am diane roberts. >> when we return, since the american revolution, more than 2.5 million women have served in our nation's arnolded forces. where you --
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soledad: all across america this week, people are pausing to honor those who served our nation. here in washington, d.c. there will be ceremonies at arlington national sammy tore and at the memorials dedicated to each war. the women in military service for america memorial is the only major national memorial that honors all women who have defended america. starting with the american revolution, more than 2.5 million women have served or are serving with the u.s. armed forces. the memorial features an upper terrace with views of arlington national cemetery and the monuments so familiar to americans, an arc of glass panels, etched with quotations honors the women who has served. a display to honor the only woman to ever receive the medal of honor, mary edwards walker. is he risk the her
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surgeon. as we leave, we say thank you to all our men and twim who have served our nation. i am soledad o'brien. be sure to join us next week for "matter of fact." [captioning performed by the which le] ♪♪ save on beautifully designed furniture, from classic to contemporary. at havertys furniture, take one hundred dollars off every thousand, now through monday. plus, you can finance with no interest for 24 months get the looks you want at prices you'll love. with havertys, your home can be perfect. even when life isn't. hurry, sale ends monday at havertys.
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